Author: Samantha Teague
Photography: Rodney Macuja
10:25AM, Mar 4, 2016
Tio's Cerveceria is dedicating March to tequila's spirited parent-spirit.
Tequila: you know it, you love it. But how well do you know mezcal?
For the entirety of March, Tio's Cerveceria in Sydney's Surry Hills celebrates the agave-based spirit, with a new menu and a Mezcal Mini-Fest.
A mezcal-focused menu will be on offer throughout March, showcasing both an extensive list of previously-unavailable mezcals as well as a clutch of mezcal-based cocktails. Get a load of the Mezcal Alejandro: coconut horchata, chocolate bitters and mezcal gin. (Mezcal gin? A gin made with mezcal as a base; it contains 10 classic gin botanicals as well as four Mexican botanicals: ancho chilli, lemongrass, hibiscus and avocado leaf.)
"Our focus has always been agave distillates," says Alex Dowd, the bar's co-owner. "When we opened five years ago, we got a lot of tequila in. Now the interest in the category has kind of exploded. People have a thirst for the new and the artisanal."
At the Mezcal Mini-Fest there'll be free mezcal tastings, provided by some of Australia's leading agave importers, as well as in-depth discussions about agave, and proudly-inauthentic tacos from Ghostboy Cantina.
"Mezcal has an amazingly rich culture and history," says Dowd. "They're almost all made by rural distilleries, and reflect the diversity in family recipes, plant species and local environment."
The mezcal-fuelled month offers agave lovers and amateurs alike an opportunity to explore the path past tequila.
Mezcal March, 1-31 March. Mezcal Mini-Fest, 27 March, from 2pm. Tio's Cerveceria, 4-14 Foster St, Surry Hills, NSW.